Principal Lecturer / Section Head - Fashion Design
Anita is Principle Lecturer of Fashion and Head of the Fashion Section at Manchester Fashion Institute at Manchester Metropolitan University. She holds external examining posts at other key fashion institutes in the UK and has extensive experience in fashion technology hardware and software and is leading on an exciting new digital strategy for the institute. Anita is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and is in the process of completing her Doctor of Education (EdD) whilst authoring a new book called Advances in Sewn Product Technology commissioned by the publisher Taylor and Francis. Other current interests include 3D fashion design and the digitalisation of the Fashion Industry.
Anita began her career working as a designer for a well-known menswear brand in the UK and moved on as Product Developer for a leading British knitwear specialist whilst studying at London College of Fashion. This facilitated her career move to senior fit technologist and technical manager for one of the largest suppliers to the British Clothing Industry. Her product specialism spans light sewing, ladies & men's formal wear and casual wear, sports and leisurewear. She has been involved in developing a variety of highly technical apparel products such as pre and post cure non-iron apparel, and wet processing techniques. She was also involved in trail blazing technologies such as seam-free bonding and welding technology and the use of 3D digital fit technology to support agile and sustainable product generation. She has developed apparel for brands such as Ralph Lauren, Ted Baker and Hussein Chaylan. Her experience of off-shore manufacturing afforded her the opportunity to work as a Technical Manager in many locations around the world, such as Portugal, Morocco and Malaysia. Anita has also been fortunate to work alongside British Designers such as Katherine Hamnett when she supported the development of one of the first organic collections for Marks and Spencer Autograph range. This role also afforded her the opportunity to develop novel and innovative trims with some of the world’s leading trimmings suppliers.
After an extensive career in the Fashion Industry, Anita moved on to work in Higher Education and her interest in pedagogy led her to the role of Associate Dean for Teaching and Learning whilst leading on a variety of key projects such as the development of the fashion innovation lab within the Manchester Fashion Institute and a variety of Higher Education and curriculum related reviews.
Academic and professional qualifications
Anita's current qualifications include:
- Doctor of Education (EdD) Pending
- MA Fashion Product Development (Distinction)
- PGDip Garment Technology
- Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
- Chartered member of the Textile Institute
As Associate Dean for Learning and Teaching, Anita was responsible for managing the dissemination and implementation of institutional Learning and Teaching strategies and priorities across the Department of Apparel. She has been an active member and chair of several senior university committees, including the Faculty Executive Group (FEG), Student Experience Committee (SEC), the Academic Quality Standards Committee (AQSC) and chair of the Faculty Academic Quality Standards Committee at the Hollings Faculty, Manchester Metropolitan University.
She has headed up numerous successful initiatives including her role in Project Managing the Hollings Faculty re-location to the All Saints Campus. Other initiatives include:
-Developing and implementing a Faculty based Peer Support for Teaching scheme
-Implementation of the universities assessment, marking and feedback strategy
-Statistical analysis of unit performance (standardisation of marks)
-Implementing a standardized VLE design
-Mentoring and supporting academic colleagues to gain professional recognition in Academic Practice
Her approach to teaching and learning is to develop independent autonomous learners, based on the principle of student-centered learning. She has a particular interest in enhancing teaching practices through the use of new technology and e-learning where she has a unique depth of understanding covering availability, range, appropriateness of the right learning tools, deployment strategies, and problem solving. She has developed a vareity of sucessful initiatives to spearheading the use of new and effective web-enabled technologies.
She has extensive professional industrial experience having successfully held a variety of senior management positions within the global apparel Industry before embarking on her academic career at Manchester Metropolitan University.
Her first-hand experience and working knowledge of fashion industry technologies has continued to form a major part of her research practice and inspired her to successfully publish around this area of interest and to adopt new and emerging technology within the taught curriculum and in particular within the Technology focused BA(Hons) International Fashion Practice programme that she successfully developed and led.
She continues to to engage with industry focused conferences, trade fairs and exhibitions and is well connected with external agencies within her discipline, having developed and delivered many educational programmes to suppliers of the British Fashion Industry.
She has successfully developed, launched and led a Top Up Degree – BA (Hons) International Fashion Practice which which has attracted and successfully educated learners from across the globe; and as recognised from her HEA Senior Fellowship status and previous link tutor roles, is an effective mentor both within and beyond MMU boundaries.
Other examples of her prior commitment to advancing education includes her engagement with a variety of government sponsored educational programmes such as The British Council Funded Inspire Project Kazakhstan.
Projects and initiatives
2021 (onwards) MFI Digital
This is a strategic project to further enhance and develop digital and industry 4.0 capabilities within both the university and the wider fashion industry
2020 (onwards) MFI Resource Group
The purpose of the MFI Resource Group is to support the institute to meets its strategic ambition to fully embrace new and emerging machinery, equipment and digital technology to ensure our programmes are future proof and our graduates not only leave us industry ready, but are regarded as change makers.
2017-2019 - Maternity Leave
2016-2017 - Co-chair for the MMU Portfolio Review
2015-2016 - MMU QAA Higher Education Review - member of the Manchester Metropolitan University Strategic Planning Group
2011-2013 : Academic Project Manager : Hollings Faculty Re-location - In September 2011 I undertook the appointment of Academic Project Manager for the Hollings Faculty re-location from the out-of-date Hollings Building in South Manchester and was instrumental in desgining a new learning environment within the main All Saints campus on Oxford Road Manchester.
My motivation for wishing to undertake this role was based on the fact that it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to enhance learning and teaching; by leading, supporting, mentoring and managing colleagues towards the development and completion of a new Faculty premises/physical learning and teaching environment that was fit for the 21 century (Partnership for 21st Century Skills 2002).
I knew that taking on this role would be extremely challenging, not just in terms of the projects tight critical path, but also in relation to the speed of which she had to acquire a firm appreciation of the entire Hollings Faculties disciplines and teaching practices; in order to bridge the link between architects, building contractors and MMU personnel having realised that architects can only inform the aesthetic and technical aspects and not the how the physical learning and teaching environment could be structured to support flexible learning and assist facilitators and learners in their work (Lippman, C. 2010).
In order to achieve the latter whilst working collaboratively and inclusively with staff from within the Faculty and across MMU I used a wide variety of traditional research tools and designed, co-ordinated and managed literally hundreds of focus groups, workshops, formal and informal interviews and meetings to not only to capture the current variety of teaching and learning practices but also, given the limitations of budget and space, to fundamentally challenge their future relevance and support colleagues to develop and transform them towards a fresh and innovative approach to teaching and learning practice that would inform the development of an inclusive and effective physical learning environment. The following examples briefly outline some of the outcome of this work :
- I developed, co-ordinated and managed a Faculty Teaching and Learning Strategy which enabelled student satisfaction to be maintained throughout the whole re-location phase.
- I facilitated the the design and development of an Apparel Innovation Zone and two Textile Laboratories.
- I successfully designed, co-ordinated and managed a comprehensive staff and student induction programme for September 2013 when the new Faculty opened on time, for the first time.
- I worked with a Norwegian company to design and develop a system of moveable walls made from glass that now enable creative studios to be enlarged or reduced in size offering innovative delivery opportunities for the wide variety of creative subjects and cohort size synonomous with the Hollings Faculty.
- I facilitated and co-ordinated a cluster approach to staff office accommodation offering easy to locate and inclusive access for all.
- I facilitated the design and development of a dedicated ‘Technical Drop In’ studio space where students can gain one to one learning support with Technical Service staff.
- I project-managed the sucesssful development of a reliable Wi-Fi system throughout the faculty thus enhancing Blended Learning opportunities as well as the widespread provison of dedicated student computers to compliment the student computer drop in facility all of which provide access to industry standard specialist software which is taught on many of the faculties courses.
Prizes and awards
- Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA)
- Chartered member of the Textile Institute (CText ATI)
- Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP)
Membership of professional associations
I avidly support my continual professional development and am well connected and fully in tune with the most recent developments in both the Fashion Industry and the Academic setting as demonstrated through my attainment and engagement with the following professional bodies and their associated qualifications:
- The Higher Education Academy: I am a registered Senior Fellow of the Higher Education (SFHEA).
- The Textile Institute: Anita is a Chartered Member of the Textile Institute, this is formal qualification awarded by the Textile institute which recognises and supports my extensive industrial experience (CText ATI)
- The Association of Learning Technologies: I am an Associate member (AALT)
- The Association of Suppliers to the British Clothing Industry (ASBCI)
Mitchell, A., 2022. 'Advances in Sewn Product Technology', Taylor and Francis.
Mitchell, A., McLoughlin, J., 2015. 'Joining Fabrics'. In Textiles and Fashion, pp. 413-458, Elsevier.
Mitchell, A., McLoughlin, J., 2014. 'Textiles and Fashion'. In Sincliar, R. (eds.) Textiles and Fashion : Materials Design and Technology, Woodhead, England.
McLoughlin, J., Mitchell, A., 2014. 'Mechanisms of Sewing Machines'. In Joining Textiles Principles and Applications, Woodhead Pub Limited.
Tyler, D., Mitchell, A., Gill, S., 2012. 'Recent advances in garment manufacturing technology: joining techniques, 3D body scanning and garment design'. In The Global Textile and Clothing Industry, pp. 131-170, Elsevier.
Mitchell, AMJ., 2018. 'The No-sew revolution: The Next Chapter', Textile Institute World Conference, University of Leeds, 23/7/2018 - 26/7/2018.
Nerantzi, C., Mitchell, A., 2014. 'Getting ready to pilot FLEX(ible Academic CPD) across the Hollings Faculty', Manchester, UK.
Manchester Fashion Institute
Manchester Metropolitan University
Manchester M15 6BG
9.00am to 5.00pm